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  • Writer's pictureVictoria Grace

Waterrock Knob & Lake Junaluska Engagement Session

Have you ever "met" someone via email and immediately liked them? That's how it was when Amanda inquired about her wedding (huge, huge thanks to Danielle & the girls at Freshaire Salon and Spa for always recommending me to the nicest brides). While we were chatting about her engagement session (they had to drive up from Florida) she mentioned she had an appointment for her hair and makeup trial on a Saturday - but I had a wedding, so that wasn't going to work. Until Becca (my bride) let me know they wanted to start early and end around 3:30/4:00 - since the wedding was in Canton I knew I would have time to meet them around Waynesville somewhere while she was extra dolled up (I doubt she's ever NOT dolled up).

The day of we met up was after a few days of rough, rough winds - so instead of headed straight to Waterrock Knob we swung by Lake Junaluska to get pictures before we battled wind (potentially) just to make sure we really captured how great it looked (and man, it looked great). Plus, Lake Junaluska is never a bad choice for photos anyhow.

Lake Junaluska is honestly one of my favorite places about "home." There's just something about it and I always run into the nicest people there. Right around the time we were snapping these a sweet couple topped to tell them how sweet that photo was going to be. They weren't wrong.

Just look how sweet they are. Speaking of sweet, by the way. When we got there the first thing Amanda did was hand me a gift and a handwritten letter - and it was the sweetest gold necklace with a B and a C on it. I don't actually own anything with the twins' initials on them and it was so incredibly thoughtful. Lately I've been wearing two necklaces and looking for a third to be trendy and layer them and I honestly think it is the most perfect necklace to be the "third." The first is a "Stop" and "take time for yourself" necklace that Reed's sent me, and the second is a diamond my grandmother gave me for my 16th birthday. How perfect is this for the third piece?!

Seriously. I love it so much.

SO after I ooed and aaed over this and we snapped a few photos at the lake we headed up the mountain. I always pull over at overlooks on the way up but since she needed to run to the restroom (remember) we stopped at one with a pretty awesome looking waterfall and tried to be quick. These two are basically models - and I feel like it would be hard to not take a great photo of the two of them together.

I've shot at this overlook fifty times and the waterfall has never been this visible or this loud. It really was neat to just stand there a minute and admire it with them.

Can we talk about her hair for a minute? Regina (a friend and client of mine) did her hair and makeup at Freshaire and it was so romantic and fun.


So, on the way up to the top (and to the bathroom) we passed the coolest (no pun intended) icicles coming off the rocks. So we pulled over on the side of the road and braved the cold and it was one of the coolest (again, no pun intended) things ever. It was such a unique photo op but the sound of crashing icicles was kind of creepy, so we kept a safe distance and didn't stand directly under them.


& how amazing is her ring even from a distance?

So. We're still hurrying to the top to find the bathroom before shooting more.

So we get back in the cars, drive past my favorite overlook, and then we park as close to the restrooms as possible.

We get out, she runs out of the car to the bathroom, and guess what.

It. Was. Locked.

It is NEVER locked when the parkway is open.

PS - she is the one who told me to share the following story so I'm totally not throwing her under the bus. I WOULD NEVER because she's an angel (please refer to sweet necklace gift above).

So. She like, reallllly had to pee. & I was like wellllll I've got a blanket and a roll of paper towels and a plastic grocery bag to put said paper towels in. So her fiance and I hid her behind a building behind the blanket and we all had a great, great laugh at how she and I are not great, great friends.

Just add, "Will help you discreetly pee in high heels without judging you and will provide TP," to my resume, ha!

So after we all had a good chuckle about that we spent some time shooting these two and the mountains - which were particularly blue that day. It also wasn't as cold as we expected it to be OR windy, so we were really winning if you didn't count the locked restrooms.

I love this one.

& how she smiles at him between kisses.

& her mother's ring. It's gorgeous, and I as a mama I can promise this sweet girl that her mom would have given anything to be there on her wedding day. I'm glad she'll have a piece of her with her always to wear that represents so many good things like happiness and hope and love.

Pro tip - I like to shoot engagement rings on the bottoms of dresses or on cardigans or ties that the couple wear to their shoot to tie those photos in with the rest of their session especially if there aren't a ton of places to "set" the ring.

Amanda and Andre - it was seriously so nice to meet you both and I had so much fun.

I hope you two (and anyone reading this) love your previews as much as I love Andre's engagement shoot socks - ha!

Seriously, these two are the best.

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